In order to be approved for Hormone Replacement Therapy with Testosterone or Human Growth Hormone, you must undergo blood testing in order to confirm your need for treatment. At our clinic, we use what is known as a Comprehensive Hormone Panel. We use the respected diagnostic testing company LabCorp to perform the tests which we use to reveal your underlying health condition.
LabCorp has decades of experience in supplying accurate and confidential blood testing to patients across the United States. The following is the battery of tests that we will have performed on your blood sample in order to evaluate your condition:
Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
The Comprehensive Metabolic Panel is a group of fourteen tests which are performed on your blood sample which are intended to be a general check-up for your liver and kidney function, as well as your fluid balance and electrolyte levels. This test does not diagnose any condition, but can reveal abnormalities in your blood that could be related to a number of conditions.
The Lipid Panel is a series of blood tests which are intended to evaluate your cholesterol levels in the blood stream. Healthy patients have a high ratio of HDL Cholesterol in comparison to LDL Cholesterol, where as high LDL Cholesterol Levels are a sign of cardiovascular risk. This test will also monitor your Triglyceride Levels, which need to be tightly controlled to preserve optimal cardiovascular health.
Prostate-Specific Antigen Test
The Prostate-Specific Antigen Test (also known as the PSA Test) is vitally important and must be performed before starting any Testosterone Therapy regimen for the first time. This is because High Levels of PSA in the blood stream are a sign that the patient is suffering from Prostate Cancer, and should not undergo Testosterone Therapy of any kind. There is no evidence that Testosterone Treatment causes Prostate Cancer, but elevated levels of Testosterone can exacerbate existing Prostate Cancer and should be avoided.
It's also important to evaluate PSA Levels before therapy, because Bio-Identical Testosterone Restoration does lead to increased levels of PSA, but this is not indicative of Prostate Cancer, so getting tested before-hand prevents the patient from a false-positive with regard to Prostate Cancer.
Insulin-Like Growth Factor-One Test
The IGF-1 Test is the most important test with regard to HGH Deficiency. Human Growth Hormone is released in pulses by the anterior pituitary, so, ironically, HGH Blood Testing is not a useful indicator for Human Growth Hormone Deficiency. HGH circulates to the liver and the majority of the hormone is converted into IGF-1, which then remains active in the blood stream for a few days afterward, meaning that IGF-1 Levels in the body remain relatively stable and are currently the best way to monitor for Human Growth Hormone Deficiency.
Free Testosterone Test
Free Testosterone refers to unbound Testosterone that is freely flowing through your blood stream. This Testosterone has yet to be activated, and is available when needed by the body. This is the most important form of Testosterone when it comes to Low-T Andropause evaluation. If your body doesn't have a sufficient ratio of Free to Bound Testosterone, then your body isn't getting the level of Testosterone that it needs to maintain optimal hormone balance. If Free Testosterone Levels are too high, on the other hand, this is a sign of Testicular Cancer.
Total Testosterone Test
The Total Testosterone Test takes into account the levels of both bound and unbound Testosterone in the blood stream. Testosterone binds to a protein known as Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin, which allows the Testosterone to be transported where it is needed by the body. If your body does not produce enough SHBG, then your body is able to produce Testosterone, but it has trouble getting the Testosterone to its activation sites to experience its benefits.
Follicle-Stimulating Hormone and Luteinizing Hormone Test
Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH) are precursor sex hormones produced by the anterior pituitary gland which travel to the testes and encourage normal and healthy sexual function. Luteinizing Hormone is vital for both the normal production of sperm as well as the production of Testosterone, whereas FSH encourages the production of healthy sperm.
If FSH and LH levels are low, this is a sign of Secondary Hypogonadism, meaning that the testes are not producing sufficient Testosterone because they are not receiving the proper signals from the pituitary and hypothalamus. Dependent upon whether the patient is suffering from Primary or Secondary Hypogonadism, the treatment may vary. Primary Hypogonadism can only be treated with Bio-Identical Testosterone, whereas Secondary Hypogonadism can be treated in a variety of ways, including Bio-Identical Testosterone, Clomiphene, or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Therapy.
Estradiol Testing is an important part of Male Hormone Testing. Estradiol is one of the primary feminine sex hormones, but it is also needed in much lower concentrations in the male body. The body also monitors Estradiol Levels when considering the release of Testosterone, and will inhibit the production of Testosterone Precursors if the Hypothalamus senses Estradiol Levels which are too high.
Many Hormone Physicians prescribe Estrogen Blockers in combination with Testosterone Therapy in order to increase the effectiveness of Low-T Treatment and prevent the body from converting Testosterone as readily into Estrogen, an issue which can lead to symptoms such as Gynecomastia or increased Cardiovascular Risk (if Estrogen Levels are controlled during Testosterone Therapy, Low-T Treatment improves Cardiovascular health and reduces such risks).
Complete Blood Count
The Complete Blood Count is an evaluation of the various forms of blood cells that circulate through the blood stream. This test is important, because men with elevated Red Blood Cell Counts are at an increased risk of Cardiovascular Complications resulting from therapy and may require treatment before starting therapy. Of course, one form of effective treatment for many is simply to donate blood, which naturally reduces Red Blood Cell Counts. The CBC also monitors for a number of other conditions which impact health and which may also lead to symptoms which share similarities with both Testosterone Deficiency and HGH Deficiency. The following are the tests conducted in the CBC:
Red Blood Cell Count – Red Blood Cells are the mechanism by which the body transports oxygen throughout the body. If you don't have enough Red Blood Cells, your body isn't getting the oxygen that it needs. If you have too many, this can increase blood pressure and increase the risk of clots and other issues.
White Blood Cell Count - These cells are also known as Leukocytes, and they are the mechanism by which your body fights illness and infection. If you don't have enough, you are highly susceptible to illness.
Hemoglobin - Hemoglobin is a particular protein molecule in Red Blood Cells which binds with Oxygen for transport, using iron as a catalyst. Low levels of Hemoglobin are a sign of Anemia and other conditions which inhibit oxygen circulation and may lead to fatigue and reduced metabolism.
Hematocrit - This is a particular test which measures the volume of Red Blood Cells circulating in your blood stream in comparison to all other circulating products combined.
Platelets - Platelets are simple blood cells which are designed to limit bleeding by clotting. If the blood stream has too many platelets, this is very dangerous and can vastly increase the risk of a number of heart conditions such as stroke and hyper tension.
Free Thyroxine Test
Free Thyroxine, also known as Free T4, is the active version of Thyroid Hormone which circulates through the blood stream. When testing for Testosterone and HGH Deficiency, it is important to also evaluate Free Thyroxine Levels, because Thyroid Hormone is a vitally important hormone with regard to energy metabolism, and can lead to symptoms of severe fatigue or weight gain when not properly balanced. Because Thyroid Hormone is a core hormone released by the Thyroid Gland, it is less susceptible to age-related decline than HGH and Testosterone, but Thyroid Deficiency can easily be misdiagnosed if not tested.
Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone Test
Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone functions much like Luteinizing Hormone and Growth Hormone-Releasing Hormone, which are responsible for the healthy production of Testosterone and HGH, respectively. If TSH Levels are low, this means that the thyroid gland is not receiving enough signal to release Thyroid Hormone, a sign of Secondary Thyroid Deficiency.
Hormone Tests Necessary for the Proper Diagnosis of Hormone Deficiency
As you can clearly see, all of these tests are very important to determine your current health state, both with regard to your hormone balance and your general health and wellness. We use these tests in order to enumerate the symptoms which you are experiencing that are inhibiting your quality of life, to aid in the diagnosis of your Hormone Status, and to rule out other conditions which may preclude your need for Hormone Therapy or rule you ineligible.
All of this comes to our clinic in the form of a four-page diagnostic print-out which your specifically appointed Hormone Specialist will evaluate and make a professional recommendation with regard to your needs as a patient. With this, your Hormone Doctor will be able to write you a prescription which can be filled out by our affiliate pharmacy, who will then mail your Hormones and other Health Products directly to your home!